2023 Milken Scholars Summit: Advancing a Thriving World

Published 08/15/2023 in Program Updates
Written by Torres, Evelyn | 08/15/2023

Founded in 1989 by Mike and Lori Milken, the Milken Scholars Program began with a group of 16 Scholars from the A. Philip Randolph High School in Harlem, New York and has now become a family of over 560 Scholars, representing 76 countries and selected from more than 200 high schools across Los Angeles County, New York City and Washington, D.C. As of 2014 the Milken Scholars Program became a joint initiative of the Milken Family Foundation and the Milken Institute.

Embodying the Program’s pillars of scholarship, leadership, community service, and character, the Class of 2023, comprised of 20 new Scholars, joined over 100 Scholars and Staff at this year’s Annual Summit hosted at Mount St. Mary’s University, Chalon Campus from July 27-30. The Summit is the Program’s annual flagship event that brings Scholars together for three days of reflection, connection and engagement. The theme for this year’s Summit was, Advancing a Thriving World, following the Milken Institute’s 2023 Global Conference theme. 

Scholars engaged in thoughtful discussions with guest speakers who reflected on their academic and career pathways across their respective fields from emergency global relief efforts to health technology, environmental protection, public interest law, foster youth advocacy, entrepreneurship and investment. Guest speakers become not only a source of inspiration for Milken Scholars, but also vital members of their network as they begin to navigate their career launch. Sessions included:

  • Becoming Involved in Community Organized Relief Efforts to Advance a Thriving World

Yosef Jalil, California Director, CORE

  • Scholar Shark Tank:  Creating your Business to Advance a Thriving World

Moderated by Gregory Milken, Founder and Managing Director, 1 AM Gaming

  • Advancing a Thriving World through Innovative Healthtech Companies

Ramin Bastani, CEO, Healthvana

  • Mike Milken on Advancing a Thriving World with Special Guests

Al Lazowski,CEO, LAZ Parking

Alan Smolinisky,Co-Owner, LA Dodgers

George Weiss,CEO, Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers

  • Environmental Solutions to Advance a Thriving World

        Tracy Quinn, CEO, Heal the Bay

        Romel Pascual, Executive Director, CicLAvia

  • The Importance of Representation to Advance a Thriving World 

Moderator: Richard Sandler, Executive Vice President, Milken Family Foundation

Marisa Hernandez-Stern, Supervising Attorney General, California Department of Justice

Demontea Thompson, CEO, Twinspire

A highlight of the event was the participation of more than 40 Milken Alumni Scholars who returned to lead sessions where they shared their expertise and career advice by leading specialized panel discussions and meeting with Scholars for 1-on-1 mock interviews and resume reviews. Just some of the session topics included: Applying to Graduate Programs, Navigating the Medical School Process, Incorporating Extracurriculars + Community Service in your Career, Studying Abroad + International Fellowships, and Maintaining your Creative Side Alive through College and Beyond.  
Special memories of this year’s event include the Alumni Induction of our Milken Scholar Class of 2019, and a healthy dose of physical exercise and competition at Beach Olympics in Will Rogers State Beach. Our Scholars left energized and reassured that they have a strong and supportive network that will accompany them through college and into their career. 
This summer Scholars also had the opportunity to come together in person at the 2023 Recognition Ceremonies held across the country.  The Milken Scholars Class of 2023 and their families were recognized for their achievements and celebrated by current and Alumni Scholars in attendance at each of these events.  Pictures from the New York celebration held on June 10th can be found here.  Pictures from the Washington D.C. Scholars celebration can be found here for the event held on July 8th.   Pictures for the Los Angeles celebration, held at the culmination of the 2023 Milken Scholars Summit, can be found here. We are immensely grateful to everyone that helped make this years events a success and we look forward to 2024!